Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Sometimes a piece of music cannot be contained, it may scream to be allowed out of the mind and into the wide awaiting world and there is nothing that the musician or the audience can do about it, except for sitting back, making sure that all is secure with the area for a while and allowing the sweeping change laid out before them to tactically submit in the shape of a greater force. It is a greater force that comes before the listeners as John Jenkins with Vanessa Murray offers the beautiful yet wistfully dynamic Her Soldier Boy in a unregimented parade of class and vitality.
It is a vitality that resonates with life, that encapsulates the point of making sure that no matter what the enemy fires at you, you must always show them that you can take more, that you can always offer more and in this unexpected five track E.P. the songs release their own tension onto the awaiting listener. They set out with purpose to show that nothing can easily break the artistic mind, those that try to fracture and smash the creative flow are more than likely just to be adversaries, foes who have no understanding in what a song entails.
The beauty of Her Soldier Boy is matched fully the acoustic tales that John Jenkins has put down as a supposed supplement but in reality are a whole division of well crafted accounts in their own perfect right. With John Lawton, Amy Chalmers, Denis Parkinson and Vanessa Murray all combining with Mr. Jenkins, the subtlety of these songs, Playing With Fire, I Miss You and What It All Means, is not just to be seen as hidden extras or songs working behind the scenes. They are moments in which cannot and should not be dismissed, that must be seen as uniformly cool, dressed to the nines and ones that stand out with the very best polish upon their boots and grooves.
Music makes any beast cower; it is the point that it should ease the pain of the afflicted, in John Jenkins’ Her Soldier Boy the beast never stands a chance. A beautiful set of songs by a man relishing the days to come!
Ian D. Hall